Beebe asks for $1.1M for health education aid

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe wants to use $1.1 million from a state reserve fund to help pay for a program that provides grants for students who pay out-of-state tuition for medical programs not offered in Arkansas.

Beebe announced Wednesday he's seeking legislative approval to use the money from the state's rainy day fund to help pay for the Arkansas Health Education Grants for the upcoming school year. Dwindling fund balances have left the state Department of Higher Education with enough money to continue existing aid, but the program faces reductions in new awards to incoming students.

The grant program pays for programs not offered at Arkansas institutions, including veterinary medicine, dentistry and optometry.

Beebe planned to submit the formal request to the Arkansas Legislative Council's Peer Review Committee on July 11.

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